- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A property owner is suing the city of Omaha and one of its code inspectors, alleging the inspector offered leniency on her code violations in exchange for sexual favors.

The woman claims in the federal lawsuit that her north Omaha rental properties were targeted for code violations and excessive fines by the inspector, The Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1mj1Q9Y ) Saturday.

The lawsuit says the inspector offered several times to reduce or eliminate those violations if the property owner provided sexual favors. When she declined, the lawsuit says, the code inspector threatened to issue more fines and eventually did.

She says the code violations the inspector leveled against her led to criminal citations, and she was later sentenced to six months of probation.

When she then tried to obtain permits for work on her properties, the city arbitrarily denied her requests, the lawsuit says. The woman said a city official told her that the inspector directed everyone in the department to refuse her permits until she met personally with the inspector.

The lawsuit also accuses the inspector of contacting her bank to inform it that her properties were in violation of city codes.

The lawsuit says the city eventually relocated the inspector.

The inspector is also among several named as defendants, along with the city of Omaha, in a separate lawsuit filed last year by the Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association, who make similar allegations of requests for sexual favors, as well as those of inspectors engaging in illegal, discriminatory and arbitrary conduct to routinely interfere with property rights by concocting code violations.

Omaha attorney Jason Bruno, who represents the property owners in both lawsuits, said his clients have been in negotiations with the city about the claims outlined in the lawsuits.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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